The PCC at its meeting on 18 June 2015, unanimously passed a resolution under the House of Bishops’ Declaration. We recognised that there is a variety of views in the congregation about the issue of women priests and now bishops, but we also recognised that there is a significant number of our parishioners who in conscience could not receive the ministry of women priests and bishops (and those ordained by them). Essentially this means that in order to preserve the unity of the parish, we will continue, as we always have done, to seek only the appointment of male clergy (ordained themselves by male bishops) and for male bishops who hold the ‘traditional’ line of teaching to officiate in this parish.
The Statement of Need which accompanied the resolution explained that those who are unable to receive the sacramental ministry of women as bishops and priests, do so not because of any misogyny but because “neither Scripture, nor apostolic Tradition, nor the great majority of the Church throughout the world today endorse the ordination of women as bishops and priests. There is therefore doubt as to whether the roles of bishop or priest are, sacramentally speaking, roles that women can exercise.” (For a further explanation of these matters see here). The statement also reaffirmed, “our desire to flourish within the life and structures of the Church of England, in accordance with the Five Guiding Principles” and “our commitment to Christ’s mission in the Diocese of Leeds.”
At the same meeting the PCC also chose to affiliate to The Society. The Society is an ecclesial community established by the catholic bishops of the Church of England to address the new situation created by the ordination of women to the episcopate as well as to the priesthood.
* It promotes and maintains catholic teaching and practice within the Church of England.
* It guarantees a ministry in the historic, apostolic succession and a true sacramental life, by commending Priests of The Society whose sacramental ministry can be received with confidence. (Fr Robert is a Priest of The Society)
* It provides episcopal oversight for Priests of The Society and for parishes that affiliate to The Society.
* The parishes of The Society enjoy a relationship of full communion not only with their bishop but also with all the other parishes of The Society.
* The Society is led by a Council of Bishops. (Bishop Tony currently serves as the Chairman of the Council of Bishops and Fr Robert is The Society’s Communication Officer).
To find out more about The Society see: www.sswsh.com
To find out more about the Society in our diocese see: sswshwestyorkshiredales.weebly.com